iPods and Isolation

Sitting in a waiting room today, I looked around and realized there was no conversation going on. Across the entire room I counted 17 people. They were all engaged with hand held devices. The handful of children were clustered around their parent’s devices.

Nobody was reading a magazine or newspaper. Nobody was talking. It was eerie. A room full of people and no eye contact, no converEnglish: The iPod family with, from the left t...sation, no engagement.

It was spooky.

What happened to parents reading stories to children, knitting, writing, reading or talking to each other to to strangers? As our technology gets more savvy, we lose a bit more of our humanity. As technology upgrades year after year, our children lose out on some of the sweetest things of all – playtime, puzzles, socialization, and interaction.
A solitary game of Angry Birds replaces Tic-Tac-Toe. A word game of Words with Friends replaces a family playing Scrabble, Boggle or Hangman. Technology isn’t bad but when it takes the place of connecting, socializing and engaging with the people around you then it has overstepped it’s usefullness.
The end.

A Decade of Technology Changes: What’s Next?

Do you ever wonder what’s the  next new thing to be invented, reinvented, produced and delivered to us? Ten years ago, blogging was something a handful of people did. Now companies, CEO’s, universities,  presidents, grandmas, cpu and monitoremployers, movie stars, quilters, news stations and teachers all have a reason to put their words in a post and hit the publish button.

I worked with a brilliant guy in my past and I often asked him this question – what’s the next new thing? Years ago he told me about a new concept called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) which was difficult for me to grasp at the time. Now, I use VOIP with Skype and my phone.

What’s the next new thing?

When I first browsed the web, Netscape was the only choice…Amazon was a place far away and Google was a funny word.

AOL had the market with the disks they mailed on a regular basis so we could connect to the internet.  Connecting to the internet meant dialing a certain number where everything took it’s own sweet time. While the computer was connected, the phone was unavailable.

In the past ten years, I’ve seen flash (or thumb) drives replace cds (which replaced floppy discs). With each year, the amount a flash drive holds increases and will soon be able to hold a terabyte of memory!

The big deal ten years ago was the Blackberry. Now a Blackberry is old fashioned compared to the iPhone family that continues to ‘wow’ the world. The ‘land line’ is a thing of the past as our children subscribe to cell phone use only. I recently discontinued my land line due to the cost and the handful of calls that I received.

Back then a chat was something I did over the phone – today it’s a text using dozens of acronyms. The preference seems to be to send a text rather than make a phone call.

We no longer need a VCR recorder because of programs like Tivo and On Demand that allow us to record a host of programs to watch at a later time. In fact, we can  skip watching TV and tune into our computers and watch our favorite programs on Hulu and other such programs.

Our televisions have gotten flatter and wider as have our computer screens.

Film cameras are no longer produced and digital cameras are being replaced by cell phone cameras.

A decade ago I was so cool jogging with my neat yellow Walkman. Cassettes were soon replaced by compact discs and now, thousands of songs are downloaded into a device as big as my thumb or onto my cell phone device.

Books were either hardback or paperback. Now, we have to decide if we want to use a Nook, Kindle, Sony, or some other type of e-Reader. Libraries are in the process of going virtual as well.

A social network was a gathering of people, like you might find at church or on a Friday afternoon meeting face to face, perhaps. Online social networks like My Space, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and other sites allow many people to connect via their fingertips. They share videos, photos and information for their friends and family to see across the miles or across the world.

Oh my goodness! So much has changed, evolved, and emerged in so little time. What’s next?

If you know or think you know, let me know!!!

Internet Goodie #7: Bookmobile gone wild!

With all the online resources we have at our disposal, it’s hard to believe you could ever be without a good book to read.

Bookshelf full of books
Bookshelf full of books

At Goodreads.com, you can find great book recommendations and once you sign up you can track what you’ve read and create a list of books you plan to read. You can join or form an online book club, make friends and have a new place to call home.

Eye On Books is full of podcasts by authors that explain their stories and reveal the source of their inspiration.  These authors fill in back stories using their words and explain their thought processes. Be sure to check it out – you’ll be very happy you did.

Another source of books is your nearest library. At my library, I can check out books, books on tape, books on cd or online books. The online books can be downloaded to my computer or mobile device (like an iPod or MP3 player as well as iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android)  You may be pleasantly surprised at what they have to offer.

If you’re in a book club or just want a list of some good books to read, check out 100 All Time Best Book Club Books. The great thing about these lists is you’re bound to find an author that writes the kinds of books you like to read.

Now that mobile reading devices like the iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android are in the hands of thirsty readers they might be looking for free books. At Project Gutenberg over 33,000 free ebooks are available for download. Perhaps you can start to look at the top 100 ebooks that were downloaded yesterday at the Project Gutenberg website. You’ll be hooked for sure!

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